Construction is currently underway to renovate and improve water drainage system in the Burger Bowl. It is expected to continue through Oct. 15 of this year. At the same time, construction to create the new eco-commons is taking place near the Ajax building. Construction for that project is scheduled to end on Sept. 15.
The Burger Bowl, the athletic field located on West Campus, is more officially recognized as Couch Park and is owned by the City of Atlanta.
“The goal of the [Burger Bowl] project is to improve the playing surface of the fields,” said Jerry Young, Facilities and Landscape Project Manager.
“We’re regrading the whole area, adding a whole new drainage system and adding an improved planting medium for the grass that also helps it drain. It’s typical of what they use for sports fields.”
Georgia Tech Facilities is in charge of the current construction but is limited in the type of improvements it can make because of its agreement with Atlanta.
Tech students endeared Couch Park with its current nickname, Burger Bowl, to describe its close proximity to a Burger King in the 1970’s and it’s obvious topographical likeness to a bowl.
Over the years, the high embankments surrounding the four-acre field have led to a number of drainage problems stemming from light and heavy precipitation. Large portions of the field were barren and tattered from student overuse, especially during moist conditions. The field is most utilized for Rugby games and practices, intramurals, school sponsored events such as Sting Break and a number of Greek Week events such as Tug. It’s also open to the rest of the student population for their enjoyment.
“I’m glad they’re doing it so that it will prevent [the Burger Bowl] from being a swamp, not that I’ve experienced it personally,” said Michael Kersh, first-year CmpE major, “I’m glad that they’re getting it done to help out the people on west.“
Facilities will also be installing an irrigation system to water the field in warmer months. They are also exploring the option of installing a permanent well system to use groundwater for the new irrigation system. They’re currently installing a test well to see if a permanent one will be feasible.
Overall, the new turf that will line the field will be more resilient to frequent student use. They’ll be laying down a specific blend of Bermuda grass, intended for sports and athletic activities.
The eco-commons construction near the Ajax building will eventually convert the affected space from parking spaces into green space. That project is scheduled to finish in Nov., after all of the planting is complete.